Dogs teach us many things in life and often we can apply these lessons to other parts of our life – even our romantic relationships.
With Valentine’s Day ahead, you might be struggling with what to do for your partner or maybe you’re in a tough place right now with your soon to be Valentine. To help, we’ve put together a list of five huge lessons that you can learn from your dog and then apply to your own love life.
1. Be patient and forgiving
As a dog owner patience is critical. Maybe you brought home a puppy that won’t stop peeing on the floor or you adopted an older dog that gets spooked every time you make a noise – both situations require lots and lots of patience. As you become a more experienced dog owner, you realize that things like training and trust take time, and sometimes it takes longer than you would expect. This is a lesson that you can use in your romantic relationships. Everyone has a different pace when it comes to what they’re comfortable with and realizing that in a relationship can help you avoid rushing things while also gathering a better understanding of your partner.
With patience usually comes forgiveness and this is also something you can learn from your dog. Maybe you came home from work to find your pooch ripped your favourite couch pillow to shreds. Maybe you’re angry and your dog realizes they did something wrong, but you’re not going to continue holding a grudge towards them. The both of you will move on and your dog will continue to be their happy and unique selves.
This lesson can come in handy when it comes to your relationship with your partner – forgiveness is good when deserved. Humans make mistakes and if we can acknowledge we made a mistake, it might mean we also deserve forgiveness.
2. Protect those that we care about
Our dogs are our biggest fans, and they would do anything for us. Their natural instincts make it easy for them to want to guard us and provide us with safety. They can sometimes sense danger that we might not see ourselves, thanks to their amazing hearing and smelling capabilities. In addition to protecting us, they are undoubtably loyal.
These amazing characteristics can teach us that we as humans can provide protection and loyalty to those who we love. In a successful relationship, loyalty is one of the most important factors.
3. Setting concrete boundaries
Setting boundaries with our pets is something that looks different for every pet owner. This might include training your dog not to beg, not allowing them to go onto your bed, not letting them bark at other dogs when you’re at the dog park and more. Setting boundaries between you and your pet sets a proper foundation for everyday life and ensures both your dog and you stay happy and healthy.
This lesson should also be used with your Valentine/partner because boundaries are guidelines for how you want to be treated. You’re not going to let your dog poop in the house or bite you every day because those are the boundaries you have established. So try coming up with some boundaries for your partner and utilize them to ensure your relationship is full of mutual respect.
4. True commitment
Dogs are a lifelong commitment and with that commitment comes hard work, financial contributions, making sacrifices, being present and more. Although, all these things seem pretty small compared to the huge amount of unconditional love you receive in return. This commitment also means you accept that it’s not always going to be easy, even though it will be worth it in the end.
This is also true in the relationships we share with others – specifically romantic relationships. Commitment means you stick with them through the hard times and when you get through the difficult days, there’s happier days to look forward to. This applies to your pooch and your Valentine – through sickness and through health!
5. It’s okay to be yourself
Lastly, if our dogs have taught us anything, it would be that it’s okay to be ourselves! Your dog loves you for who you are, and they wouldn’t want you trying to change yourself for anything. Remember, they love you unconditionally! On the other side of things, your dog also loves being themselves in front of you. The true bond that you share together is a great example of how love can exist when we allow ourselves to just be our eccentric selves.
Pretending to be something you’re not or trying to change something about you won’t bring you happiness. Take this lesson and use it in your relationship – your true love won’t want you to change anything about yourself. Love yourself so that you can allow yourself to be loved by someone else.